Philadelphia County Sheriff elected, Rochelle Bilal is convinced that big “moves” have to be made to produce a real change in the law enforcement perception in her office. However, she is convinced that in order to change something externally, transformations have to start within the institution.
Bilial began the Sheriff’s Office making history in the recent elections for the renewal of county authorities. She is the first African-American woman officer to hold this position and she already shows that she will handle institutional matters at with high standards.
With 27 years of active duty in the police force, Bilial comes to the Sheriff’s Office highly experienced and with particular ways of how things should be done to highlight transparency.
And following that conviction, she will remove the haze to the image of the office she will be in charge of, with the creation of a transition commission composed by 23 members.
Rochelle Bilal became Philadelphia’s new Sheriff in an unrivaled election. Her approach to new policies and procedures to improve the efficiency and commitment of the department made her a winner. Around 400 employees will be under her responsibility.
Before we can change our relationship with the citizens of Philadelphia, we must make changes and reform ourselves (…) The badge must not push people away, but make people feel safe (…) I want children, and seniors to respect our officers. And likewise, our officers must and will respect the citizens of this city.”
One of the important things she wants to change is the relationship between the tenants and the police. The Sheriff’s Office has a mixed perception about it because it is required to enforce tenancy laws and remove people who do not pay their home rents.
The new Sheriff wants to invest more money in advertising services that support families and people struggling to afford housing.
One example cited by Bilal is Community Legal Services, a long-standing program founded by the Philadelphia Bar Association that helps low-income citizens with a multitude of problems, from housing and health care to language access and employment.
About the bad reputation
Bilal said he intends to “eliminate the dark cloud that has hovered over this office for decades. I make this solemn commitment to make this office the shining star not only in Philadelphia, but across the country.”
The transition team co-chair, Bishop J. Louis Felton of Mount Airy Church of God in Christ said that in Bilal, city voters chose the best candidate to to completely change the Sheriff’s Office. “We will not only do better, with Bilal we have the best,” he said. “We are thakful for this shift in the atmosphere that our city may reach its highest and full potential.”
Translated by: José Espinoza